I was a Voting Judge yesterday here in Kansas. This is one of my experiences.
[Saved from a few years back, but still relevant . . . ]
Fellow Kansans, we live in a magical kingdom! While participating in our recent primary elections, I found out just how magical it really is. Most folks here in Southeast Kansas take some pride in being either a broad majority Republican or a thorn in your side Democrat. Then there are those folks who choose the party of the essentially anti-government Libertarians who truly believe that the less government the better and unlike others who talk the talk, they also walk the walk.
And then there are the unaffiliated. These are the scant few folks who feel it should be their privilege to vote for whoever they think is best qualified regardless of party affiliation. Each election cycle they ask why Kansas can’t support a split ballot and each cycle no one gives them a real answer. The real answer of course is quite simple. The majority rules in all cases and the majority wants no truck with such silliness as sharing the ballot with some other well qualified candidate.
During this most recent primary election an odd thing happened. Unaffiliated voters were given a choice! Select a Republican ballot at the polls and as you walk out the door, POOF! You are a registered and legal Republican! Select a Democrat ballot however and there is no POOF! Instead the unaffiliated voters are theoretically asked whether they would like to become Democrats or would they prefer to remain unaffiliated. Complicated in some ways but essentially straight forward. Except that it is only straight forward if the unaffiliated voters ares aware of the choices available to them.
The key to this process is making certain that those few unaffiliated voters are aware of the possible ramifications of their choice. It boils down to a simple matter of an informed choice. If they are unaware or not fully informed, they may be inclined to vote a ballot that appears to offer more choices over one that is always marginal at best. But is this really the intent or the mind of the staunch unaffiliated voter? By their very nature they are saying they don’t wish to be labeled. If this is the case, which ballot choice would seem more logical for them? Well, I saw three of them over a period of twelve hours and after having it all “explained to them” they all chose to become staunch Republicans rather than continue to be an informed and questioning unaffiliated voter.
Were they truly given the choice they deserved?
Or is it magic?
Dave the Brummbaer